Up to 175 students in grades six to 12 will be able to attend the Islamic Society of Greater Columbus’ Sunrise Academy High School, a chartered school at 5677 Scioto Darby Road, after Hilliard and Planning and Zoning Commission members approved a required conditional-use permit Nov. 14.

“I’m happy that after a long time and a lot of work with the city that we have resolved their concerns,” said Mouhamed Tarazi, president of the Islamic Society of Greater Columbus.

The high school, which will be affiliated with Sunrise Academy at 5657 Scioto Darby Road, is in a building used by Hometown Urgent Care.

The Islamic Center of Greater Columbus purchased the 13,000-square-foot building on 4 acres in February for $1.05 million from Heritage Medical LLC, according to Franklin County property records.

Hometown Urgent Care’s lease expires at the end of February but it might move out sooner, Tarazi said.

About 75 middle school students – those in sixth, seven and eighth grades – and two freshmen moved into the high school on Nov. 11.

Students in kindergarten through fifth grade will remain at Sunrise Academy, a chartered Islamic school that opened in 1996 at the former Hilliard branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library at the southeast corner of Scioto Darby Road and Veterans Memorial Drive. The urgent-care building is on the southwest corner of the intersection.

In May, the city approved a conditional-use permit that allowed the students to move to a portion of the building not occupied by the urgent care.

An additional conditional-use permit was required for students to use the remainder of the building after the urgent care moves out.

Commission members voted 5-1 to approve the conditional-use permit for the high school. Chris Lewie voted against it, citing “unresolved” enrollment and traffic issues.

Mayor Don Schonhardt, a member of the commission, was absent.

The commission first heard the application Sept. 12, postponed it to Oct. 10 and then postponed it again to Nov. 14.

David Ball, director of communications for Hilliard, said Nov. 13 that the parties had resolved their concerns and the city recommended approval of the conditional-use permit.

David Myerholtz, a planning technician for the city, summarized the revised site plan before recommending approval at the Nov. 14 meeting.

The conditional-use permit was approved with six conditions, which included capping the number of students at the two-school campus at 550 unless otherwise approved by the commission.

Commission member Bill Uttley asked for the consideration to allay a concern about the K-5 school – which includes a preschool – from backfilling its enrollment after the 75 students were moved next door.

Additional conditions include limiting the number of parking permits at the high school to 27 for students and 24 for staff and, during morning drop-off times and after pick-up times, requiring vehicles to enter the high school’s south driveway and exit from the school’s north driveway.

Two-way traffic from either driveway otherwise is permitted.

A further requirement is for the conditional-use permit to be evaluated in three years.

About 425 students are enrolled at both schools, said Tarazi, who told the commission he did not conceive reaching 175 students at the high school in the next three years.

The number of classrooms at each building aligns with the cap of 550 students between both schools, Tarazi said, adding that parents do not want overcrowded classrooms.

Mona Salti, principal of both schools, was not present Nov. 11 but told commission members last month that dividing the student body and implementing staggered schedules would improve traffic flow on Veterans Park Drive.

The daily schedule at the K-5 Sunrise Academy is 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.; the high school schedule is 8:45 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.

The road between the Sunrise campuses is the entrance to Roger A. Reynolds Park, home to the Hilliard Family Aquatic Center and the Hilliard Community Center; traffic on the road was a concern commission members had raised at previous hearings.

The conditional-use permit included an agreement between the city and the school that the parking lots at the community center accommodate any overflow parking from the schools, but Mark Denny, an architect representing Sunrise Academy, indicated additional parking, if ever necessary, could be added at the high school.

kcorvo@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekCorvo

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Previous story from Nov. 14:

Up to 175 students in grades six to 12 will be able to attend the Islamic Society of Greater Columbus' Sunrise Academy High School, a chartered school at 5677 Scioto Darby Road, after the Hilliard and Planning and Zoning Commission members approved a required conditional-use permit Thursday, Nov. 14.

The high school, which will be affiliated with Sunrise Academy at 5657 Scioto Darby Road, currently is used by Hometown Urgent Care.

Students in kindergarten through fifth grade will remain at Sunrise Academy, which opened in 1996 at the former Hilliard branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library at the southeast corner of Scioto Darby Road and Veterans Memorial Drive. The urgent-care building is on the southwest corner of the intersection.

Commission members voted 5-1 to approve the conditional-use permit for the high school. Chris Lewie voted against it, citing “unresolved” enrollment and traffic issues.

The permit was approved with six conditions, which included capping the number of students at the two-school campus at 550.

About 75 middle school students and two freshmen moved into the high school Nov. 11. A previously approved conditional-use permit allowed them access to an unused portion of the urgent-care building.

Check ThisWeekNEWS.com/Hilliard for updates to this story.

kcorvo@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekCorvo